If I Had Tiger's Money They'd Never Find Me

merion logo.gifMike Kern in the Philadelphia Daily News catches up with Chris Patton, the heavyset 1989 U.S. Amateur Champion at Merion.
For one week in August 16 years ago, Patton owned the sport. The 6-1 Clemson senior, who made Craig Stadler look like Richard Simmons, came to Merion as a relative unknown and left with a place in history. He won the U.S. Amateur, beating another surprise, 32-year-old Danny Green, in the 36-hole final, 3 and 1. Phil Mickelson and Jay Sigel were among the favorites that year.

It made for great copy. The Amateur returns to Merion next week for the first time since then. Patton's story will be replayed. He had never seen the course before. He has never been back. His caddie, Chris Stout, had never seen it before, either. "So we're standing on the tee," Patton said at the time, "and I ask him what the hole does, and he says, 'I don't really know.' So right away, I'm thinking this ain't too great. But he turned out to be a big help. I really appreciated him pushing me along. Together, we sort of figured it out."
And my favorite line from Patton:
"You know, if I had Tiger's money," he confides, "they'd never find me."
Frank Fitzpatrick in the Philadelphia Inquirer writes about another U.S. Amateur winner at Merion, Bobby Jones.